Avoid stress, be useful: 90-year-olds on how to have a long, happy life

Importance of being active, tolerant and not worrying about internet dating, by ninetysomething women and men   A study suggests that average life expectancy will soon exceed 90 for the first time. Women born in South Korea in 2030 are forecast to have a life expectancy of 90, with other developed countries not far behind.   France is second in the league table for women, at 88.6 years, with British women 21st, at 85.2 years, and British men 14th, at 82.5 years.   We asked men and women in their 90s what life has taught them about ageing. Here is a selection of our interviews.   Excerpt from The Guardian Online, read the full article here.   Lead a Healthier Lifestyle The majority of cases of incapacity, ill health and early deaths are caused by unhealthy living. They are referred to as lifestyle related diseases as, in the main, they can be prevented by taking simple steps to improve the way we live on a daily basis. Lifestyle related diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer - all are strongly influenced by lifestyle factors that we can control.   A recent and very well regarded study of 24,000 adults who were monitored over 8 years, found that there were four golden rules for a long and healthy life. Those people that followed all four rules were:
  • 93% less likely to develop diabetes
  • 81% less likely to have a heart attack
  • 51% less likely to have a stroke
  • 36% less likely to develop cancer
  • Lifestyle changes really do work
  This 4-week plan is incredibly simple to follow. Just follow the four golden rules each week:
  • Stay slim -A BMI of 25-30 is considered medically overweight.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Take regular exercise - at least 3.5 hours per week
  • Eat a healthy diet - high in fruit, vegetables and whole grain foods, as well as low in red meat.
  These 4 factors are set out as statements in your personal training plan (shown on next page). You don’t have to follow all 4 rules at once. You may wish to build them up week by week, or concentrate on one statement and gradually build up different daily habits that help support that area of your lifestyle.   Track your progress and each day give yourself a tick if you managed to do something that contributed to each statement. Remember the 80 / 20 rule – try to complete your action points on a regular basis - at least 5 days out of 7 each week.   Continue to track your success for 4 weeks. You will probably find that at the end of 4 weeks you are doing these things without thinking; in other words they have now become habits. You should also notice that your daily energy levels have started to improve and that you’re feeling a lot fitter and a lot better about yourself!

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